12 December 2011

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS: Draft management plan for public comment

The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) has released for public comment the 2011 – 2021 Draft Management Plan.

Highlights of the 2011 – 2021 Draft Management Plan
•A new vision, mission statement and brand for the ANBG
•Strengthened programs in horticultural and conservation research
•Focus on conservation programs of national significance such as alpine and grassy woodland ecosystems
•Emphasis on state-of-the-art practices in biodiversity science and information management, horticulture, education and visitor services
•A range of new development opportunities
•Expanded education programs
•A range of new promotional activities

To view the 2011 – 2021 Draft Management Plan and provide feedback go to the website.
Comments on the plan must be sent by 31 January 2012.

CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY: Showcasing native plants in the farming environment

A native plant nursery is to be established at the EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga, as part of a demonstration site for sustainable farming practices. The nursery has received $15 000 in funding from the CSU Sustainability Grant Program, administered by CSU Green.

CSU Green communications officer, Ms Nicole Maher, said the grants offer a great opportunity for the CSU community to implement creative and interesting ideas to enhance the sustainability of the University. “By providing material for biodiversity plantings across Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, the native plant nursery will help the University meet its goal of having 20 per cent of all its land used to increase biodiversity by 2015,” she said.
The nursery will also play a key role in research into the potential benefits of native shrubs and herbaceous legumes to farming systems.

NEW ONLINE PUBLICATION: Ticking the Box: Flaws in the Environmental Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Exploration Activities

Produced by the Environmental Defenders Office

The coal seam gas (CSG) industry in NSW is expanding rapidly. At the same time, the community is becoming increasingly concerned that the legal regime that regulates the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas does not ensure a thorough environmental assessment of such activities.

This publication argues that the legal process applying to CSG exploration lacks independence and rigour in terms of the assessment of potential environmental impacts. As a result, the Reviews of Environmental Factors (REFs) provided to comply with this process are of poor quality, and often constitute a fairly generic lists of impacts. The publication outlines the nature of the problem and illustrates, through some case studies, the deficiencies in the legal process. In light of these problems, legal reform to the assessment of CSG exploration is necessary.

SURVEY: Bell Miner Associated Dieback Project

Eucalypt dieback - Bell Miner Associated Dieback (BMAD)

Tree dieback may have various causes, may be natural or human - activity related, and may be of seasonal, short term or long-term duration. This survey form is designed to collect information on the current extent and distribution of tree dieback in the Blue Mountains WHA or nearby areas, in particular where associated with bell miners. Other instances of dieback are also of interest and can be recorded, except that directly related to bushfire. To gain a picture of current patterns of any dieback it is important that observations describe the current condition of trees (i.e. within the current month of recording) separately from longer term conditions and activities.

Identifying where dieback occurs is an important step in improving the management of forests. By identifying the threat, targeted management to improve biodiversity and forest heath, and to mitigate hazards and other possible unwanted outcomes arising from dieback, can be developed and actioned.

To obtain a copy of the survey forms please contact Bryony Horton by email: bryony.horton@environment.nsw.gov.au

Form are to be returned by Friday 23rd December.